Over 200 youths in Zambezi District of North Western Province have benefitted from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) skills bursaries.
The beneficiaries who are pursuing various courses at Zambezi Youth Resource Centre have disclosed that the CDF has come as an effective solution to education, skills and entrepreneurial development.
Speaking to ZANIS in an interview, the youths training in bricklaying and plastering, carpentry and joinery, computer literacy, tailoring and driving skills commended the government for the initiative.
Sallieh Maseka, a student pursuing bricklaying and plastering said CDF has created opportunities for many youths in the district to acquire lifelong skills that have improved their living conditions.
Ms. Maseka revealed that the skills being acquired will create job opportunities that will help in alleviating poverty levels and deter youths from engaging in illicit behaviors.
“I am here at the Youth Resource Center, where I am acquiring a skill in bricklaying and plastering, CDF has helped us a lot as it has created opportunities for us to acquire various skills that will improve our livelihood and reduce poverty in our households”. she said.
And Luwi Chinsembu, a computer literacy student, expressed gratitude to the new dawn government for promoting inclusiveness and value addition through skills development.
Ms. Chinsembu disclosed that CDF is a game changer that has lifted the financial burden of many parents and guardians with children in tertiary learning facilities.
She further revealed that her intake course mates had plans of forming a club and applying for CDF empowerment grants to formulate an internet café as a business venture with hopes of creating jobs for other youths in the communities.
“CDF had transformed our lives because our parents were faced with a lot of financial challenges which made it difficult for us to come to school, but today we are here because of CDF. We plan to form a club when we are done with school and apply for the CDF grant to open an internet café and employ other youths”, Ms. Chinsembu said.
Meanwhile, Kizito Katulwende, the resource centre manager said the learning facility recorded an increase in the 2023 enrollment with an admission of 220 students compared to 100 admissions in 2022.
He said the increment was attributed to the increase in the CDF allocation from 1.6 million to 28million.
Mr. Katulwende commended the government for introducing CDF skills bursaries adding that it has positively impacted the lives of youths who were loitering in the communities with no hope for their future.
He added that this development has helped youths become successful entrepreneurs who have created job opportunities for fellow youths and this has also helped to reduce cases of crime and criminality in the communities.
“The introduction of skills bursaries has brought positive impact among the young people who had no capacity to access education. A number of youths are acquiring various skills and some have started their own businesses. The initiative has also helped to reduce crime cases among the youths,” he said.